4 big winners from the Minnesota Vikings 2022 NFL Draft

(Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith
(Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith /

Harrison Smith – S

There was some dismay amongst the fanbase when the Minnesota Vikings decided to trade out of the No. 12 overall selection rather than select stud safety Kyle Hamilton. However, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had an ace up his sleeve by selecting Lewis Cine at No. 32 instead.

The former Georgia standout was a prominent figure on a defense that will go down as one of college football’s greatest ever. No fewer than 15 Bulldogs were taken during the draft, which is a new record in one year and a further testament to the exceptional campaign they had en route to a convincing national championship.

Cine’s arrival in Minnesota should benefit Harrison Smith enormously. The perennial All-Pro lost his 2021 partner after Xavier Woods left in free agency for the Carolina Panthers, but the new arrival has the potential to be a significant upgrade on the backend thanks to his athleticism, physicality, and ability to communicate.

There is no doubt that Smith’s presence in the lineup will do wonders for Cine’s early development. Having one of the best in the business to lean on is something the incoming prospect should take full advantage of, so this could end up being a mutually beneficial arrangement that can benefit the Vikings in the short and long term.